So you are interested in starting a new hobby or getting someone else interested in crafting as a gift idea? Fantastic. You are one step closer to a rewarding hobby, one oozing mindfulness, mental stimulation and contentment - as well as a potential new income stream!
This article is here to help you on your journey. In it, we cover:
- Why craft kits are an excellent way to get started.
- How crafting with knives is a great option, but not an obvious choice to many.
- Some easy to start kits on ETSY brilliant to try out.
- Pros and cons of using pre-bundled knives supplied in kit format.
- Some of our most popular craft knives amongst hobbyists.
An Excellent Way To Begin…or Gift
One of the hardest aspects of starting a new hobby is getting started, and that’s where craft kits can come in very handy. There is an incredible array of hobbies out there to try and kits can introduce you to any number of them quickly and cheaply:
- Kits mean you don’t have to over-commit financially. Many are available from under £20 making them a great starting point.
- Someone has invested the time and provided a lot of creativity upfront. This gets you started creatively and gives you a head start.
- You get the finished product as a pretty much-guaranteed outcome. You don’t face the frustration of starting again (and maybe again!).
- Kits work great for gifting. They are fun, creative and novel and let's face it, how many times have you searched for inspiration online for friends and family and ended up buying gift cards?
- You save a big chunk of research time. The materials you need are already provided – no need to spend hours wading through YouTube videos to figure out what equipment you need.
Benefits of Crafting With Knives
A typical search of ‘craft kits for adults’ will yield hundreds of brilliant options on websites such as ETSY.
You can get kits for almost every kind of adult hobby project, from calligraphy to embroidery, pottery to jewellery making and everything in-between. There are so many beautiful kits to try - and we wouldn’t attempt to put you off any of them.
But what separates the adults from the children when it comes to hobby kits? Dare we suggest that knives could be the answer?
In fact, some kits advertised on ETSY or Amazon already contain craft knives, and should that be something of an eye-opener at this point, crafting with knives has been around for centuries, in fact dating back to ancient China no less!
There are many good reasons to consider crafting with knives:
- They are specifically meant for adult users - those aged over 18 only.
- They can be used by occasional hobbyists and also those looking to develop a high level of skill over a longer period.
- Using a craft knife normally requires lots of concentration and creativity – perfect for those looking for mental health benefits and day-to-day stress relief.
- The knives will outlive the kit. They are therefore excellent value for money when compared to some other kit formats. If you don’t enjoy the specific kit you buy – you can keep the knife and try out something else such as scrapbooking or sugar-crafting.
- Craft knives are pretty cool. There are many options around and once started, you can easily upgrade or complement your knife with accessories and different blade shapes.
- They are versatile. Depending on the duty of blade/handle, you can easily switch materials and have a go at something else.
Key Point: Keep this in mind. Kits with knives are meant for adults only.
Adult Craft Kits to Consider – Our Picks
Just to give you some ideas, let’s take a look at some online kits and see how they worked for users.
DIY library craft kit, adult craft kit - £45
Image Credit: ETSY / MyPapercutForest
This reconstructed miniature library can proudly sit on display in your home. You can find it here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/948308868/diy-library-craft-kit-adult-craft-kit
This project is a delight for those who are enthusiastic about miniature room reconstruction and is available from MyPaperCutForest - artist Silvina De Vita.
Reviewers have shared that the instructions are clear, the library fun to build and relaxing. The product enjoys a 5-star rating from 600+ reviews. It is a brilliant kit, unusual and something that works as both a gift and a new hobby. If you like the look of this kit, then you can also go on to purchase similar kits from the same artist. Options include Greenhouses, Forest Scenes and Nautical Adventures to name just a few. Brilliant!
The featured kit includes:
1 craft knife
5 extra blades
A5 self-healing mat
1 Instruction booklet with photos of each step
A printed practise sheet
Several paper cutting templates for the sofa, the plant, the books and the glasses
8 pre-cut wooden pieces for the library and the sofa
Papercutting starter kit, an introduction to the art - £18
Image Credit: ETSY / Fairy Made Paper Art
Papercutting is an incredibly popular hobby and one where a craft knife is integral to completed projects. One of the most popular papercutting kits on ETSY with 600+ reviews and a 5-star rating is this well-priced starter kit. This kit comes complete with:
1 x A4 self-healing mat
1 x Stainless Steel handle no.3
1 x snazzy introduction sheet with tips on how to begin in this craft
1 x practice sheet guiding you through the techniques you will need
1 x cut design / template ‘Love’
1 x cut design / template ‘freedom feather’
1 x cut design / template ‘roses’
1 x Red paper sheet for roses infills
1 x cut design / template pack of your choosing ('My love' Pack, Lovebirds Pack, Nature & Typography pack, Alice in Wonderland Pack or Crafty Folks Pack)
Our very own Handle No. 3 (Stainless) is included in the kit - you can see it in the picture, but blades must be purchased separately. At just £18, this is a great gift for friends and the start of a very affordable hobby too as the handle will last for years. For reference, most papercutters will use a No.3 Swann-Morton handle or our ACM No. 1 and No.10A blade combo.
Stonehenge: Marquetry Woodwork Craft Kit for Adults & Beginners. £27
Image Credit: ETSY / The Cove Workshop
Why not have a go at recreating Stonehenge in your own home? This beautiful kit is a gentle introduction to the hidden world of Marquetry from The Cove Workshop.
If Marquetry is new name to you, then it’s a very old craft that can turn into quite a complex and engaging pastime. If you get really good, then this specific hobby is a great option for additional income – you can do many things including transforming tatty old furniture into highly desirable items for resale.
This specific kit includes:
4. Carbon Paper
9. Guidance Notes
You can grab this kit here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/884359448/stonehenge-marquetry-woodwork-craft-kit
Note: Craft kits may come complete with a knife or they may require the user to purchase a knife separately. Make sure you read the product description carefully. If you do need to purchase a knife separately, Swann-Morton has a full range of craft knives to consider.
Advantages Vs Disadvantages of Bundled Craft Knives
There are both advantages and disadvantages to knives that come bundled with craft kits. We’ll explore some of them here.
Advantages of Bundled Knives / Blades
- The knife is usually appropriate for the project and gets you going immediately. In the Papercutting kit showcased above, the chosen handle is our No.3 Handle set. This is the preferred choice of many professional papercutters in the UK and overseas.
- Choosing the correct duty knife/blade combo can be tricky for beginners so getting a bundled option takes away the risk of getting the selection wrong.
- It usually comes with spares (note: check this at point of purchase) ensuring you don’t run out before your project is complete.
Advantages of Separate Knives / Blades
- The user may already have an appropriate knife from a past kit.
- You have more choice and can choose a knife that suits you the most. Although above we referenced the No. 3 Handle Set being the pro-choice for papercutters, it isn’t necessarily ideal for new starters. It does require confidence with blade changing (pliers are needed) and some new hobbyists may prefer our ACM No. 1 or for example the comparable X-Acto 1.
- With bundled knives it may not be clear where spares are purchased. Although blades and handles are interchangeable, it is always best to check the brand you are using to ensure any new blade purchasers are compatible. Otherwise you may encounter fitment and safety problems.
- Reviews of the knife can be studied and taken into consideration. Given knives are very much part of the hobbyists kit year after year – why settle for a pre-bundled option that doesn’t work for you or isn’t recommended professionally?
Most Popular Swann-Morton Craft Knives
If the kit you are looking to buy doesn’t include a knife, then Swann-Morton has a range of craft knives to suit every project. Let’s take a look at some of our most popular knives.
ACM No. 1 Handle
The perfect companion for beginner hobbyists. The ACM No. 1 Handle Set is a light-duty knife that includes one No. 11 craft blade and guard in an attractive point of sale clam pack.
This knife is great for cutting lightweight materials such as paper, card, and thin veneers of wood with precision. The ACM No. 1 is a popular alternative to our Surgical Handle 3 sets - with a key difference being the way blades are added/removed via metal collar making it a great choice for beginners.
Buy it now from Art Discount
The Plastic Craft Tool
This craft tool knife is excellent for all types of projects including marquetry and miniature modelling projects. Available in impact polystyrene for light work or stainless steel, the Craft Tool knife uses a thumbscrew for blade changing and retention.
Craft Tools are supplied singly, with two craft blade types, No.1 and 2 (No.3 blade also an option). Again the simple thumbscrew operation makes the Plastic Craft Tool a great choice for newcomers.
Buy it now from Amazon
Acrylic Craft Hande 5A
Structured and made of acrylic with a stainless steel bayonet fitting, this handle is the perfect addition to your new hobby - not only executing cutting tasks smoothly, but giving you extra stability when in use. Made by Swann-Morton, the Acrylic Craft Handle also fits standard No. 3 surgical blades meaning it can be used when you need that precision cutting edge.
Buy it now from Air Craft
Further Help & Inspiration!
Here you will find some truly inspirational work from craft professionals and if you are thinking of buying your own craft knife, then we have a comprehensive buyers guide that will be the perfect way to help make your choice. Here are a few extra resources that may help you get started also.
Our common usage page provides some useful guidance for newcomers to the crafting world with the most common usages of our product range.
A helpful article designed to help choose the right crat knife based on the material being cut.
Our comprehensive buyers guide with expert professional tips.